United Kingdom’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Travelyan, has announced a new UK government programme to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Through the AfCFTA Support Programme, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office will provide up to 35million pounds to provide trade facilitation and trade policy support to the AfCFTA Secretariat and member states through Trademark East Africa, Overseas Development Institute and other development partners.
The fund will go to support AfCFTA negotiations and agreement implementation making it easier for nations across Africa to trade and grow together.
According to Travelyan, the AfCFTA is a shining example of the power of African unity and the power of trade as a force for good aside helping to overcome barriers to trade whilst promoting investment and unlocking growth.
“As we continue to reestablish ourselves as an independent trading nation, deepening our ties with Africa is one of our most important priorities. No other continent has such great potential for growth. In the decades ahead, Africa’s young, talented and rapidly evolving workforce could transform the continent into a global economic powerhouse.
The AfCFTA could lift over millions of Africans out of poverty by driving industrialization and creating so many jobs,” she noted when the AfCFTA Secretary-General paid a working visit to London to discuss how the UK can continue its work as a strategic partner.
She added that the UK government is ready to work side by side with its partners across Africa to transform this enormous economic potential into a prosperous reality.
Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, expressed that the support ushers the continent into strengthened cooperation related to customs and trade facilitation and policy across Africa.
“This is a very important step that we’ve taken towards the push for trade-driven economic expansion and recovery of the African continent. As we recover from the pandemic, the main tool of recovery for the continent is boosting intra-African trade.
UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, indicated that the funding will promote long-term partnerships with African nations and also supports a more prosperous and greener continent.
“Post-Covid and rising instability across the world, never has economic stability been more important or more challenging to achieve and unlocking opportunities across the continent is absolutely vital for that. The work that we are doing to promote growth and opportunities is key,” she emphasized.